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Posted On : 14 Aug, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Mumbai 
BEST committee gives nod to merger of Budget with that of MCGM
The committee of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking (BEST) today passed a proposal to merge the civic transport body's Budget with that of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).

The move is expected to provide relief to the loss-making transport body.

"Our party chief Uddhav Thackeray had promised to merge the BEST Budget with that of the corporation in our election manifesto, and being chairman of BEST committee, it was my duty to implement it. I am glad to inform that today the committee approved the proposal," said Shiv Sena leader Anil Kokil.

"I am confident that MCGM commissioner will give his administrative approval to the proposal, after which it will need the state government's nod," said Kokil, a former employee of the BEST.

A senior BEST official said that merger talks were underway between the BEST and MCGM administration after officials of both the bodies scrutinised the nitty-gritty from legal, financial and operational points of view.

The BEST is the only civic transport body in the country which presents a separate budget and is expected to generate its own funds, he said.

Hanumant Gofane, BEST spokesperson, said, "This is a welcome and well thought out step to bail out the transport body. If the MCGM and the state government give their approvals, then the 11-year-long tradition of separate BEST budget would end from the next year."

Opposition leader in the BEST committee, Ravi Raja, hailed the move but also warned the transport undertaking that it will have to change its ways.

"This is a welcome move for the BEST...but it would be interesting to see whether the MCGM administration accepts it silently. Because the BEST is already facing cumulative losses of Rs 2,005 crore and it would become a liability for MCGM.

Therefore the BEST needs to mend its operating ways first," the Congress leader said.